Dr Oz: Juggling With Fire
Dr Oz’s guests were the popular magicians Penn and Teller. They already performed some neat tricks to help Oz break down myths. Next, it was time to learn about what causes memory loss and how to juggle as a preventative exercise.
Did you know that Penn and Teller have been a team of comic magicians for over three decades? They have appeared on stage shows and in TV series to show off their tricks and sometimes try to find the truth behind mind tricks and illusions we take for granted.
Dr Oz: What Causes Memory Loss?
As we get older, people tend to assume that their memories are going to go by the wayside. You might start out forgetting small details, but over time the symptoms might seem worse. What causes memory loss, and is it an inevitable part of aging?
Dr Oz: Nail Gun Injuries
Magician Penn Jillette used a nail gun as a demonstration of classic magician’s memory tricks. He shot nails into a table on the stage and explained how nail guns are loaded with nails spaced at particular intervals.
The trick to his memory gag was to memorize the spacing of the nails so he could shoot the nail gun into his hand, Dr Oz’s hand, or even Penn’s forehead without a nail coming out. He made intermittent shots into body parts and the wood, never missing because he had memorized the sequence, no matter how quickly he got moving.
Don’t try this at home. Penn explained that nail guns send roughly 30,000 Americans to the emergency room each year. I would not trust my memory for this trick; would you?
Dr Oz: Memory Loss Prevention
Is memory loss inevitable? According to Doctor Oz, memory does start to fade as you get older because the brain begins to shrink. In your 20s, your brain will be at its best, but as you age the cells can begin to shrink.
The hippocampus at the center of the brain is the key to your memory. You can prevent or reverse memory loss by exercising your brain like any other muscle.
Dr Oz: How To Juggle
One great exercise to improve your memory is juggling, as Penn demonstrated using flaming torches. But again, if you are trying this at home, you probably want to start out with tennis balls or apples, like Dr Oz did.
Juggling has actually been proven in studies to grow new brain cells, even in just 15 minutes of practice per day. But if you stop doing this type of activity for a few months, the cells will shrink and return to their previous state. I have to admit, that’s really interesting.
Dr Oz: Learning To Juggle
Dr Oz recruited a woman from the audience to give juggling a try. She was told to throw a ball back and forth from hand to hand at even intervals.
One of the secrets is to watch for the ball to hang for a millisecond in the air before it begins to descend. That’s the right time to throw the next ball and keep them both in the air. You can keep at it and work up to additional balls with practice.
Juggling takes practice, and I felt for the woman who had to be nervous. Dr Oz and Penn finished their segment by doing some impressive tandem juggling, as if Dr Oz needs to strengthen his brain any more.